Review: Color Commando (DSiWare)

Review: Color Commando (DSiWare)

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scr003While there’s no shortage of puzzle platformers on the DS, at 200 points on the eShop I think Color Commando is at least worth a look if you’re jonesing for a solid pick-up-and-play puzzler. The game’s premise is simple: all you need to do is get from point A to point B (whilst picking up bonus coins to unlock extra levels). The game’s opposition comes from neon blob-type monsters that veer menacingly—and somewhat mindlessly—back and forth across the environment.

One touch is enough to kill the game’s main character, but luckily there are conveniently-placed cans of equally-gaudy colored paint that he can use to splatter over the faux tableau that is the environment. This creates a safe zone for players to traverse should the monsters happen to be in that same spot as the paint, allowing the game’s unchristened main character to safely traipse across to the end goal.

Good Points

  • Solid platforming elements in the vein of Lode Runner; this game can get really hectic in the later levels.
  • Rad and beautiful pixel art fills the game’s (limited) environments, though some of the UI elements seem to pale in comparison to the main sprites.
  • The painting mechanics are truly unique and fit the game’s bright and saccharine color scheme well.

Bad Points

  • The game’s animation is rather choppy and reminds me of playing a low-rent Sachen game.
  • The unfortunate use of Comic Sans for most of the game’s typography and UI elements. That is all.

Things that can swing either way

  • I’ve encountered a few bugs here and there but nothing game-breaking; sometimes I would have enemies completely covered and they’d still get me.
  • There is no story whatsoever; the game straight up plops you through tutorial stages before proceeding to the game proper. Personally I tend to skip through story sequences in games but I think this may be a negative for some.
  • This game is really short. I was surprised that I blew through this game in an hour; but then again you can always go back and replay stages you missed coins on.

scr002Color Commando was a good distraction… while it lasted. And while I’m not bummed about the game’s limited playtime, I’d like to see maybe an episodic series of similar games out of this developer. Though the game’s main mechanic certainly does not have enough legs to sustain several sequels, I felt that the sparse amount of levels killed off the game’s momentum far too soon. The game certainly could have used a few more enemy designs, maybe another piece of music to shake things up between levels, and about double the levels to be a solid recommendation. Still, at a price less than what most folks pay for coffee… It’s not half-bad.